Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mental Health Days

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'm talking about your mental health as a writer and things you can do to keep your brain in top creative form. I know you all probably already have a writing schedule (right?) so I'm not gonna harp on that. This is for all the other things we have to get done. So, grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going! Let's kick off the post with a picture of a cute baby! Hey, eating cake might be considered something you do on a mental health day!

First off, I'd like to say that if you have a day where you don't feel like writing, don't beat yourself up over it. It happens to everyone. Sometimes, you have other things on your plate that are just as important. Just take a deep breath and move forward.

Okay, now that we have that out of the way...

Your creative brain is taxed on a daily basis if you're a writer. Some days, the words flow like boiling hot lava down the mountain of creativity. Other days, it congeals like Jello and sits there, staring at you; daring you to try and make it flow.

There are many factors that can impact your creativity:
  • Other obligations
  • Stress
  • Worrying about sales
  • Marketing
  • Formatting
  • Social Networking
  • Housekeeping
  • Kids
  • Noise
  • Temperature
  • Fatigue
  • Illness
So how do you clear the clutter out of your brain and give it the tools it needs to be productive?
  • Be realistic about what you can do for other people. Don't overextend yourself. You have a job, and people need to understand that, just because you're at home all day, doesn't mean you have time to do for them. Just say no.
  • What are you stressed about? Can you knock it out with a day off? If yes, take that day and use it to handle whatever is causing you stress. If no, then take time to reevaluate your goals and perhaps change them to something more realistic.
  • Stop worrying about sales. Hey, I know they're important and all, but if you're worrying about them all the time, you're not going to publish another book and make yourself more discoverable. Focus on writing instead.
  • If you don't know how to format, hire someone that does. Save yourself (and your hair). If you do know how to format and you do all your own books, set aside a day where you can work on formatting and nothing else. It's okay; your book will still be there tomorrow.
  • Please, for the love of Pete, use a social networking dashboard of some kind. Remember it should be taking you (at a maximum) one hour a day to build your presence.
  • If your house being a mess is driving you nutso, take a day off and clean that booger. I promise, it'll help you be more productive tomorrow.
  • Are your kids driving you crazy? Try calling a friend or family member who might be able to watch the little nose miners for a while. Use your zen moment to bring your brain back from the abyss that is diaper changing.
  • Is it loud? Wear earmuffs or move your desk to another location. Turn off everything and focus.
  • Now, the last three are a bit more difficult to circumnavigate. Temperature, fatigue, and illness are three things many of us have to deal with on a daily basis. If you're sick, go be sick. Don't stress about not writing. Instead, use a little notebook and come up with some new ideas in a quick one or two line note now and then. Whatever you do, don't make your illness worse by pushing yourself too far.

Sometimes, you just need a mental health day. When you feel it coming on, take one, get done whatever needs to be done, and come back to the keys the next day feeling refreshed. There's no shame or blame in that.

Mine hit me about once a month. I blog and take the day off to clean, relax, or read. When I wake up the next day, I'm rip-roarin' and ready to go!

While you're here, don't forget to check out my featured author of the week. She gave some wonderful tips on tools you can use to help your productivity. There's also a giveaway on the post! Go enter!

Do you take mental health days? What do you use them for?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. I agree with the formatting stress! I used to do my own formatting when I was starting out and trying to save money as much as I could. It just ended up making me crazy so I outsource now.

    1. A wise choice *nods sagely*. Formatting is one thing I've gotten so used to, I don't even have to think about it. Thanks for letting IBGW do your print book. It's so beautiful :)


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